LOS ANGELES – Cole Aldrich started in place of DeAndre Jordan (pneumonia) and scored 19 points as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Miami Heat 104-90 for their 10th consecutive victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan texted head coach Doc Rivers on Wednesday morning that he was not feeling well, but was going to still try and play in the game. Hours before tip-off it was revealed that Jordan had pneumonia and would be unable to play in the game.
Jordan's absence brought an end to his NBA-best 365 consecutive games played streak, and put the Clippers at a severe disadvantage with All-Star Blake Griffin on the bench as well.
Without one of the best front courts in basketball, the Clippers struggled on both ends of the floor. They trailed by as many as 11 point in the first half and were down by seven at halftime.
An inspired locker room speech by veterans Paul Pierce and Chris Paul sent the Clippers into a frenzy as they burst out of the gates in the third quarter, scoring 34 points in the process, doubling the Heat's total of 17.
The Clippers notched up the defensive intensity in the second half as they forced Miami into six turnovers in the third quarter alone. Pablo Prigioni had a team-high eight steals, the most in the NBA this season, and Paul had four of his own.
Led by their bench, Los Angeles would go on to win by double digits. Cole Aldrich had a game-high 19 points, with Pierce, Paul and Jamal Crawford all scoring 15 each. In total, 11 different Clippers players scored on the night.
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Gerald Green led the Miami Heat with 19 points off the bench. Dwayne Wade scored 16 points and Chris Bosh had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Halftime. We're not sure what was said, but the Clippers responded and were the aggressor in the third quarter.
MVP OF THE GAME
Cole Aldrich. Stepping into the starting lineup for DeAndre Jordan, the Minnesota native scored a game-high 19 points.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
DeAndre Jordan's NBA Iron Man streak of 365 games was snapped. It was the second longest streak in Clippers franchise history.
Pablo Prigini and Doc Rivers are the only two players with 8+ steals in under 20 minutes in NBA history.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
DJ Khaled's keys to the Clippers success.
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
Two greats before the game.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
DeAndre Jordan missed the game with pneumonia. Jordan played in 365 consecutive games before today. The last game he missed was on March 23, 2011 also because of pneumonia.
Blake Griffin remained out of the lineup with a torn left quadriceps muscle.
Goran Dragic and Josh McRoberts were ruled out for the Heat.
Miami Heat (22-17, 7-9 on the road) 2nd in Southeast Division.
Los Angeles Clippers (26-13, 14-6 at home) 2nd in Pacific Division.
Miami continues their six-game road trip in Denver against the Nuggets on Friday.
The Clippers will host the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night at 7:30PM at Staples Center.